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Lower seed, same big name: Duke takes unusual path to NCAAs

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DURHAM, N.C. (AP) -- These are unusual days for the Duke University men's basketball team.

The mighty program with the Hall of Fame coach typically heads into March fresh off an Atlantic Coast Conference tournament championship and carrying a Number One seed. But this year, a young team playing through an up-and-down season has reduced the Blue Devils to being just another school in the 65-team field.

Duke has a Number Six seed and will play Number Eleven Virginia Commonwealth in the West Regional on Thursday.

The Blue Devils head into the game with a three-game losing streak and questions about the defense that carried them through much of the year.

But coach Mike Krzyzewski says he wants his players to feel like they are beginning a new season with an oh-and-oh record. He says everyone starts out even in the tournament.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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